Rangers: Similarities and familiar faces of inconsistent Europa League opponents - plus more than one injury concern

Call it the Westfalenstadion or the Signal Iduna Park, but Thursday’s trip to Germany doesn’t get much more iconic – nor daunting – for Rangers when they meet Borussia Dortmund.

The ‘Yellow Wall’ is one of European football’s most famous sights and Giovanni van Bronckhorst takes his Scottish Premiership champions to one of the biggest names on the continent in the UEFA Europa League knock-out stage.

It's an impressive venue – and the side Rangers will meet are the very same – even if there are doubts over star striker Erling Haaland.

Borussia’s Form

Dortmund's German forward Marco Reus with Jude Bellingham and team-mates (Photo by RONNY HARTMANN/AFP via Getty Images)Dortmund's German forward Marco Reus with Jude Bellingham and team-mates (Photo by RONNY HARTMANN/AFP via Getty Images)
Dortmund's German forward Marco Reus with Jude Bellingham and team-mates (Photo by RONNY HARTMANN/AFP via Getty Images)
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There are a lot of similarities with Rangers and Dortmund. They're both second in their domestic leagues for a start.

And while Rangers’ took time to find their feet after the winter break, Dortmund’s own wayward form stretches back much further – without the signs of improvement we’ve seen in Scotland.

If anything they have been consistent by their inconsistency. On an almost alternate basis, BVB have won and then failed to follow it up since the start of November with a 50percent win rate over 16 games, including seven defeats and one draw.

And, on the back of Rangers’ heaviest reverse of the season against Celtic, their German hosts followed it up days later with their own – a 5-2 hammering at home from Bayer Leverkusen.

Dortmund's fans (Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images)Dortmund's fans (Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images)
Dortmund's fans (Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images)

Yet despite this, Marco Rose’s side are second in the German top flight, albeit six points off leaders Bayern Munich.

Dortmund Players

Much of their success has been down to Erling Haaland’s goals – the Norwegian forward has failed to score in just six of the 23 games he has played this season, despite being interrupted by injury.

He’s also a doubt on Thursday after missing the last two matches for his club, but even half fit, would pose the biggest test for Connor Goldson and Leon Balogun this season.

Dortmund's US midfielder Giovanni Reyna celebrates with Marco Reus and Erling Braut Haaland (Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images)Dortmund's US midfielder Giovanni Reyna celebrates with Marco Reus and Erling Braut Haaland (Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images)
Dortmund's US midfielder Giovanni Reyna celebrates with Marco Reus and Erling Braut Haaland (Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images)

Haaland aside, Dortmund boast the threat of Thorgan Hazard, the craft of Marco Reus in midfield beside Julian Brandt, plus the dynamism of the record-breaking Jude Bellingham, and not to mention a name familiar to Rangers fans – and the manager – Giovanni Reyna.

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The son of former Ibrox midfielder Claudio, the 19-year-old winger is said to have been named in honour of the Rangers manager who shared the dressing room with the American during their spell in Scotland

BVB Availability

German media has suggested Haaland’s ongoing injury problem with a troublesome hip may rule him out of at least the first leg – and defender Thomas Meunier has also picked up a knock so is unlikely to feature on Thursday.

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